Saturday, 25 October 2014

Problems that Writer's Face

I'm writing this post primarily to give myself a kick up the behind, because I've been finding it hard to get my creative juices flowing this week.  As a way of unlocking my writing mojo, I'd thought I'd explore the difficulties of being a writer, because it's always a good idea to face your problems head that way you can begin to tackle them [here's hoping anyway]. Writing is my one true love, but it can be an incredibly difficult and tedious thing to do at times. Here's why:

1. There's no instant reward

Many would advocate that doing something creative is its own reward [and that is something that I do believe as well] however, sometimes no matter how much you've enjoyed the creative process, you still want instant recognition. If you're a concert pianist, people clap you each time you perform. If you're a writer, you can't hear someone commending you for your work [unless they're in the same room as you and they happen to like you] each time they read what you've written. There's usually a physical distance between the writer and the reader, whereas other art forms can be more inclusive.

It's fair to say that unless you've written a play, writing is not really a performance art, and that means recognition is usually delayed, by which point you'll probably be involved in another project, and less concerned about garnering praise for something you've previously written [although of course the praise will still be appreciated!] The lack of instant recognition can be demotivating at times. To be a writer can mean constantly having to tell yourself that your work is good enough, even if no one else is saying that's the case or applauding you.

2. It can take a long time to establish yourself

I think that most creative people struggle with this. Creating your own brand, finding your voice, actually making a living or earning from your work can take a huge amount of time and energy, and until you succeed it can feel like you're always facing an uphill battle. Until you are a bonafide professional author, blogger or freelancer [and even after you've accomplished that] there's always another agent you need to chase, another article to write, another novel to pen just to prove that you are an actual writer, and not just another wannabe. In order for people to think of you as a genuine writer, you have to show them that you are...again and again.

Get ready to prove yourself!

3. It can be difficult to know where to begin

Sometimes you may have an urge to write, but you have no idea what it is you want to say. As a writer you are quite literally picking words out of thin air. You have to create something out of nothing and everything, you have to sift through all the ideas and influences surrounding you and find something that resonates with you, and that can be quite challenging. I have an idea for a new novel, but as of yet, I only have half of the plot and I can't work out what the other half is supposed to be!

Now, I don't believe in rigorous planning, I believe that it's good to let the story unravel before you...but despite this belief, the novel's lack of direction is making me reluctant to start writing it. I know that once I actually force myself to begin it, inspiration will come to me and that I will begin to find out what shape the novel should take, but before starting any piece of writing work, there's a usually a fear of the blankness of the screen. In my case, that fear is not caused by a fear of rejection or failure, rather it is a fear that I won't be able to express myself properly, that I won't be able to get my readers to understand what it is I'm trying to communicate, as I hate misrepresenting myself.

I've got nothing.

Now that I've identified the problems I have with writing, let me end on a positive note. Yes, being a writer can be incredibly trying at times, but it is also incredibly rewarding and invigorating, and whilst these problems may be difficult to contend with, they are not insurmountable. They are certainly not enough to deter me from pursuing my passion - and if you read this blog because you also love to write, then don't let them deter you either!




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